Byung-Su Lee

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Byung-Su Lee
Born in Seoul of South Korea, in 1980

2011 Completed Fine Art Graduate Certificate Program, Seoul National University, Korea
2008 B.F.A in Painting, College of Fine Art, Seoul National University, Korea

2010 /Episode/ Woo-Seok Hall, College of Fine Art, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea

2010 /Five Senses’ Pictures/ Museum of Art, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
2010 /Words and Playing/ Sung-Kok Art Museum, Seoul, Korea
2009 /Look at Them in the Same Way/ Sem-Pio Space, I-Cheon, GyeongGi-do, Korea
2009 /Scars to Draw/ Gallery Wooduk, Seoul, Korea
2008 /Before the blooming season/ Corridor Gallery, Gangnam-gu Office, Seoul, Korea
2008 /Asia Students Young Artists Festival/ Seoul Railway Station Old Building, Seoul, Korea
2008 /Exhibition for Construction of the Korean Grand Canal Project/ Seoul National University Library, Seoul, Korea

2010 /Community Art Project Support/ Seoul Foundation for Arts & Culture, Seoul, Korea
2006 /Selected Works/ 6th Space Prize for International Students of Interior Design, The Space Group, Seoul, Korea

2010-11 /Seoul Art Space_Geumcheon/ Seoul, Korea

2011 /Geumcheon 06 Project_12 Famous Places of Doksan/ Geumcheon No.6 Shuttle Bus, Doksan-dong, Seoul, Korea

Living as an “innocent” Artist in This Bizarre World

Yoon Dong-hui(CEO of Book Nomad / Chief Editor of article)

At a first glance, the work of Lee Byung-su is lyrical. When observing his works, one can not detect roaring energy commonly found in works of young artists, nor feel desultory and chaotic ambition. It also seems far away from the outcry of explosive anger as one perceives the world unacceptable, and it is also far from the flow called trend that perfectly fits the interest of the common world. However, “scenery” is contained in his works. His bike starts a journey to find “hope (shops or spaces with the name hope)” in the huge city of Seoul that has been strictly conformed to the capitalist order, and his bike recalls the past scenery placed in the memory of our childhood (In the summer of 2010, he attaches a navigation system on his bike and after searching the word “hope” in the navigation, he begins to ride in search of hospitals, pharmacies, day care centers, and so on with the name hope). The 12 Famous Places of Doksan is an art work where the slogans made by artists and bus drivers were inserted on the advertisement section of the external side of No. 6 local bus in Doksan-dong for a little over two months. The advertisement was produced as a leaflet which as added with made-up storytelling and fictional elements based on the past and present of Doksan-dong, and I can say that it’s to the point of worrying me because it is going so much against the formula for success called trend.

However, I can see the perseverance and strength in Lee Byung-su. On him and obviously in his works, a scenery with a strong “humanistic scent” brushes by. The several works that have put his own body on the line as the driving force lay aside the exhausting mundane world and makes us want to find our true selves deep within and freely lie down somewhere without being conscious of others. Just as the literary critic, Shin Hyung-chul, who looks upon the poem that Son Taek-soo recites as he relies on his childhood memories, the saying “It is not making a resolution, but being ‘absent minded,’ is silently overlaid in his works as a chance for peace of mind.

This definitely is not the end of it. The artist’s pictures and videos that comes to us in a lyrical form as it says, “I will remember you. Can you remember me?” hints us what it is to open our heart to the ordinary scenery around us, or towards deteriorated scenery. At this very moment, we can realize that the “process” of his work of such simplicity is actually the “attitude” of the artist who is having a “romantic affair” with the world. Lee Byung-su knows. He knows the fact that the world will not open its heart to him unless he listens to the stories of the world, and also that the world will not show its real face unless he feels around the many faces of the world.

Someone once said, the hardest thing for an artist is not when the artist is working on a creative work, but is not when the artist is trying to hold out without it. The most beautiful art work isn’t an art work that looks amazing but only made possible when an artist presents an work that best suits the artist. If this were true, he is the true artist who has made up his mind to accept the most difficult times with unflinching and silent determination in order to walk step by step closer until he is face to face with the most beautiful face in the world. It is the mind-set of a truth seeker who has the determination to find the existence of truth hidden in the world. As we cry in the pitch dark cave of the mundane world, artist Lee Byung-su is a brave artist who set out to unearth the fossil called nostalgia which we ourselves have abandoned in the deep layers of the earth. In the current times where most young artists loudly boast that they will beat the odds with their technical skills, we are so fortunate that we have an artist that is willing to put everything on the line for a serious yet beautiful communication with the world. There is the mind-set of looking at the world, the “attitude” towards art, and the calm scenery of artist’s mind that is born from these attributes. As such, sometimes art reveals much more stories through forms other than images.